The drone grew louder as I noticed it more often–after a suggestion I made evoked a negative response, after a compliment went nowhere, after an attempt at humour fell flat.
The incessant noise heightened whenever I didn’t get the response from others I was hoping for. Although my need for approval isn’t as strong as it used to be, I was disappointed that I couldn’t shut it off and be at peace.
It hummed in the background when I reflected again with my spiritual director about the incident that happened to me two months ago.
“I can easily see what they did wrong. But what do they see when they look at me? I suppose they see a person who doesn’t take no for an answer,” I said.
“And what does Jesus see?” she asked.
I closed my eyes and thought about my stubborn forthrightness. Then I heard Jesus say, “That’s what I love about you!” and burst into tears.
In one hand, I held my desire to be rid of what keeps me from fitting in and, in the other, Jesus’ desire that I cherish how I’m made.
“It seems that there is a cost to being your true self,” my director offered.
“Yes. Sometimes people aren’t going to like me or what I do.”
In an odd way, that felt freeing.
Perhaps the sadness I experience when I feel dismissed or don’t fit in is the sound of my true self rising. It’s the sound of new freedom. And maybe, I don’t need to do anything about it.